Creative, drawing

The secret ingredient

Here’s a little something I drew today for a creative challenge by @patrice_sketches. She’s donating $1 for every participating artist in her #pantryartproject to Lunch Break, a non-profit organization providing food, clothes, and community to people in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

The deadline is this Monday, so I wanted to get in before then. I usually see challenges of this sort, make mental note of them, but never really participate. I wanted to do things differently this time around.

The lines aren’t perfect (I was planning on drawing a second image) but ended up just going along with what I had. I like how I captured the side of the container. The trick is to use gouache; the opacity helps create dimension.

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Uncategorized

Sleep and more sleep

I didn’t do much today other than bake, nap, and watch T.V. I woke up with a crick in my neck and a slight headache that now has me thinking it might be a migraine (I’ve been having a lot of those lately).

I knew I had to take it easy even though I planned to get more done. I mustered enough energy to bake an apple pandowdy, which came out pretty well. I made the puff pastry for it on Thursday, so I wanted to make sure I baked it this weekend.

Tomorrow looks like another day of resting, of doing nothing other than be with my family. Now that sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

10,000 Years Will Give You Such A Crick In The Neck GIF - Genie Aladdin RobinWilliams GIFs
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Insecurity

To post or not to post?

It’s moments like these when I overthink what to write and end up feeling stuck. I’m not stuck in the true sense of the term, but just relatively tied up by my perfectionism. Either way, I’m here and I’m writing.

This week I hit an important personal milestone by deciding to make a public Instagram account for my blog. Now, that might not seem like news, but for someone who struggles with sharing their work, it’s a big deal.

The idea came about two years ago, of which I completely ignored. In order to pacify that internal nag, I first created my private blog. Then, when the nagging continued, I made it public. I knew I eventually would have to tie my blog into my personal Instagram account, but that would come much later. Still, I was procrastinating.

Why was I procrastinating, you ask? I was (and am still) afraid. I’m afraid of sharing a part of myself that I feel like I’ve kept hidden from family and friends. Putting my work, my opinion, my thoughts out on display for others to see is one of the scariest things I’ve done.

And by going public I feel a greater sense of responsibility, one that I’ve been afraid to have. Now, I have to own up to what I’ve always wanted, to share my work with more people.

It has taken me much time (and patience) to get to this point, but I’m finally taking this step. I’m eventually going to move this blog over to my new Squarespace domain (yes, I took that step too!), but I’ll link it once it’s up and running.

To bigger and better things,
Cecilia

P.S. Here’s a podcast I listened to this week about “Dreaming Big” from Three Point Perspective podcast. It’s worth a listen.

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Creativity, quick write

You didn’t see anything

I bought a $3 notebook at T.J.Maxx the other day despite it not having my initials embossed. I was in search of a inexpensive replacement for my journal — I liked the look and size of this one, and I knew I had something at home to cover up the letter A.

A little digging and voilà! Nothing a Fran Meneses sticker can’t fix.

Now, I’m ready to go.

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Creativity, encouragement, haiku, Insecurity

Life of a Romantic

I seem to be waiting for a creative wind to come and suddenly motivate me to write, but that only happens when it wants to. I wrote a haiku about it.

I have been thinking
why wait for inspiration
if it never comes

Waiting for inspiration (of any sort) is my go-to. I don’t normally do something if I’m not in the mood to do it. I’ve been doing this since I can last remember. But the more I get through these socially-distanced days, the more I see that it’s not an effective way to live.

My moods will always vary. If some days I feel like doing things but not others, then will I ever find a true rhythm to my creative practice? Will it ever become a “practice” at all?

I need to change this pattern, or at least interrupt it. Since I know I have a tendency to wait on the winds of chance, I need to set up a regular time to write, draw, etc. It will go against my natural way of operating, but it will help me begin a true practice, regardless of inspiration.

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Music

Cumbia y conejos

I went down a music rabbit hole yesterday that I think is worth mentioning.

While listening to the Spotify radio station of this song by Mexican Institute of Sound:

I came across this cumbia cover of “The Simpsons Theme” by Chicha Libre (a band I’ve never heard of before):

Which then led me to the artist’s profile on Spotify featuring their cover of Erik Satie’s “Gnosienne No.1”:

Which ultimately led me to a 2014 NPR interview with Eduardo Díaz, the Director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, after googling “the history of cumbia” out of curiosity.

I may have just toppled on this by accident, but I think I’m onto something big here, folks. May my cumbia rabbit hole continue…

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drawing

Off to the post

Sharing has been tough. I’m not sure why. My anxiety is creeping up again as I write. But here goes.

My version of a post card. I was pleasantly surprised.

I sent a post card off to a friend today. She offered to send a drawing to anyone who wanted one. I signed myself up to receive and to give. I figured it would be good to swap art since I haven’t been drawing lately.

I designed her post card last week and sat down to draw it last night (which I’ll share once she receives it). Coincidentally, I received her card today: a drawing of a bottle of Cholula hot sauce. Brilliant.

And the best part? The “bonus content” she sent me. There’s something beautiful about insignificant sketches and color swatches; they’re my favorite part of drawing. Never mind the finished result. Show me the doodles of how you got there. My friend knows me well.

Thank you, L.E., for taking the time to draw and send these to me. It pushes me to keep going and to have fun with it—thank you.

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quick write

Despues de tanto tiempo

Sin querer queriendo me reencontré con esta canción de McEnroe que antes escuchaba mucho. Acababa de regresar de caminar cuando decidí escuchar mi “Discover Weekly” playlist de Spotify cuando empezó a tocar.

Me topé con ella hace un año cuando escuchaba más música en español. Me encantaba (todavia me encanta) por la calma y el tono de voz del cantante Ricardo Lezon.

Cada vez que la escuchaba, me acordaba mucho de M. Ward y su vercion de “Let’s Dance.” Me imagino que es por la acústica de las dos canciones.

Se me había olvidado cuanto me gustaban. Aquí esta otra canción de McEnroe que es una de mis favoritas:

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Insecurity

Shadow shows

I pictured myself underwater, the skies dark, as I swam toward something that I knew was an anchor. I reached for it and pulled myself toward it knowing, feeling as though it was the only thing I had left.

In these last two months, I have felt alone, sad, frustrated, full of grief. Each feeling adding on to the next, anger being the most recent. Even with things that I thought would excite me, like having time to draw, my motivation has been low. Everything feels pointless, meaningless almost.

I’ve tried for the last few weeks to keep things “light,” intentionally staying away from referring to the pandemic and sharing how it has been affecting me personally. It was my way of keeping things positive, a way of not adding another burden to whoever read my blog or came across my posts.

But the more I operated out of that mindset, the more I felt like a phony. It didn’t matter whether I shared somber or genuinely positive material, something was still getting in the way—it was my subconscious expectation to ignore the pain.

So, as a means to clear the air with myself, I recognize my need to be honest and acknowledge that sometimes that includes uncomfortable realities and contradicting sentiments. Moving forward, I will share stories and drawings from a place of permission. May I return to this page whenever I need reminding of that.

Playing with shadows.
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